As Russia cut off gas exports to Bulgaria on April 27, the latter looks to Turkey for help with the gas shortage, Al-Monitor reported.
“Russia’s decision has left Sofia looking to its next-door neighbors Turkey and Greece to help bridge the gap,” the report said.
Putin’s demands regarding gas exports
Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded payments for gas exports to “unfriendly” countries in roubles due to the war in Ukraine.
Bulgaria, however, did not meet Moscow’s demand and it now looks to replace its Russian gas import with “LNG through Turkey and Greece.”
‘Turkey boasts a direct pipeline link with Bulgaria’
The report underlined that “Turkey boasts a direct pipeline link with Bulgaria that is currently unused, as well as a larger capacity pipeline running to Greece that carries only tiny quantities of gas.”
It said that Turkey’s position is ideal to supply Bulgaria with the gas it needs.
“Both pipelines could transit gas imported via the LNG terminal operated by Turkey’s state gas importer Botaş on the north shore of the Sea of Marmara or via a new floating LNG terminal Botaş is developing on the Gulf of Saros close to the border with Greece. That plant is expected to start operating later this year, as is a second gas pipeline linking Greece and Bulgaria,” according to the report.
Bulgaria’s Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov has said that Turkey and Greece were the two possible sources of replacement gas.